“Should I open my 1913 Spanish Bottle of wine?”

by Jul 9, 2021Eccentric Somelier0 comments

Thank you for the warm wishes following my initial post; it brings a tear to my eye. As a wine expert, I’m honored to inspire the next generation of drinkers, growers, and lovers (of wine, I mean!).
This week, I’ve selected a question that’ll give us some perspective:

“I’ve purchased a well preserved bottle of wine from 1913 Spain, and I can’t bring myself to open it. I mean, it’s practically a relic! Have you ever had this kind of trouble?” – Maria

Maria—you do understand a corkscrew is required, right?
Just kidding. I empathize completely. You feel as though you’re betraying the patience of past generations. I’ve been there myself, and I’ve reached some conclusions.
This may surprise you, but the man who bottled that wine cares less about it than you. Were that not the case—he would’ve consumed it in 1914 or 1915. He created that wine, then forgot about it completely. In fact, my money says that the bottle was only discovered in his attic when his grandchildren searched for valuables, just after his funeral service.
See, there are individuals that bottle wine—then those who truly appreciate it. They bottled it so well-cultured people—like Maria and Sommelier Ferdinand—can indulge. And, if you think your palate is stronger than the next person’s, then it would only make sense for you to enjoy this wine!

If you’re like me, your years were used meticulously developing a multi-layered palette that can truly comprehend this 1913. Other folks—like the grape farmer in 1913—probably spent his days on momentary pleasures, like “raising a family” or “growing old with ‘loved’ ones”. Yours truly, on the other hand, understood what it meant to work towards something—that is how you find true satisfaction in your life (I certainly have! Without doubt!).

Your kids will grow up, their kids will have kids, and their kidskifidkdfbfsdoudfnsgnblahblahblah… at the end of the day, it’s just more dirty diapers! But me: my enjoyment grows every day alongside my taste buds. No regrets from me—I’ve traveled the world and drank the best wines along the way.
Trust me, Maria: real satisfaction is when you look at the bottom of a 1913 bottle and say, “Nobody but me could’ve drank this”. As for the next generation of family-birthers—they can have the light beer.
In summary, my dear Reader: if you won’t open up that bottle—send it my way!

– Sommelier Ferdinand.
(This has been a rather airy post, wouldn’t you say? Next week, I’ll have a full-bodied story for you. About my eye-opening stint in Tuscany, circa 1986.)
In the meantime, if you don’t think your palate could handle the history, why not involve yourself in a quality, century-in-the-making IBO: Quinta Do Vallada – ABF 1888.  www.altiwineexchange.com/ibo/

Explore More from Our Blog

A Mailbag Column from an Eccentric Sommelier

DEAR READER: As I’ve aged, it helps me to reach out to the youth. Everyone I speak to has to be 18+ (since I deal in wine), but reaching out makes me feel like I’m giving back to the Earth—giving it more energy to spin once I’m gone. At least for now, before I get too...

Songs about wine to listen now (and our playlist for you!)

Dear reader, Wine goes well with basically anything. Music, for example, always lightens up the mood alongside a glass. It can be that you want to listen to jazz, rock, blues, pop or other music genres and styles while having a sip. It pairs so smoothly. But have you...

It’s never too late to look back and learn from the past

Paulo Pinto Alti Wine Exchange founding member Dear reader, In life, just like in the financial world I’m often mulling over, one has to reflect on what brings value to them. For this article, I have been wondering about how nothing is certain and how there are only...

Could Bordeaux wine producers save the city’s frail top tier football club?

Dear reader and wine lover, What would you do if your favourite sports club were on the verge of collapse? And what if you could use your professional contacts to save it for good? Billionaire François Pinault, France’s third-richest man – also founder of luxury group...

Summer is coming – and things really do not look promising

Paulo Pinto Alti Wine Exchange founding member   Dear reader, I must be honest. I am in a bad mood because of something I just read: this economic contraction we are in is four times worse than the one in 2008. Western living standards are getting squeezed...

A trip to Italy and its wines: a video series by Julien Miquel

  Our Chief Wine Officer Julien Miquel is always embarking on different journeys to explore what’s best and finest in different French wine regions. From Bordeaux to Burgundy to Champagne to Italy to others, he gifts us with videos and articles about what makes...

Five useful apps for wine lovers anywhere in the world

Dear reader, wine lover, No matter where you are in the world, nowadays there are great apps for wine enthusiasts like you and the rest of us. After all, as the world is ever more connected, it is becoming increasingly easier to find options right in your phone to:...

What’s ahead for French wine 2021 vintages after the frosts?

Many wine lovers have seen the recent pictures and footage of the aggressive April frosts in most French regions – from Burgundy to Bordeaux to Champagne to Rhône to Languedoc to Alsace to Provence. For many producers, the worst spring frosts in decades led to nearly...

The Lafite Spirit: our Wine Club offers from Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite)

From Lafite Rothschild to its new ventures through time, Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) is always seeking new frontiers - from Bordeaux to South America to China Alti Wine Exchange offers investors and customers the finest investment-grade wines sourced...

Investing in fine wine remotely in times of Covid, tariffs and stuck cargo ships

A beautifully crafted case with bottles of Opus One, the Mondavi-Rothschild masterpiece wine we offered in 2020 Dear reader, The recent unbelievable blockage of the Suez Canal by the cargo ship Ever Given has led not only to endless memes and jokes on the internet,...

Building wealth wisely, change is both need and opportunity

Paulo Pinto Alti Wine Exchange founding member Dear reader, Every 24th day of the month I sit down figuring out what I spent. It’s an exercise that I do every month because I want to see how much I spend to live. There are two reasons for me to do that. One is my own...

Not all the same: a quick guide to rosé wine and its different styles

Dear reader, What is your opinion on rosé wine? I’m hoping that you, wine lover, enjoy it somehow, even if it’s not your favourite choice. Well, it could be that you either enjoy rosé as a mere “leisure/picnic drink” or that you simply dismiss it as an inferior style...